MBA program rolls out new full-time tracks

Mon, 08/26/2013

LAWRENCE — Students entering the full-time Master of Business Administration program this fall will choose between two new tracks: finance and marketing supply chain management.

The tracks are part of a retooled, streamlined full-time MBA curriculum, which will commence fall 2013. The revised program comprises 49 credit hours and can be completed in 16 months.

The new curriculum was designed looking “inward and outward,” said Catherine Shenoy, director of MBA programs. The MBA committee analyzed faculty strengths and past MBA career placement, and asked what alumni and employers were looking for in MBA graduates.

The marketing supply chain management track, or MSCM, provides insights into the integrated customer experience.

“From understanding what customers need and want, to delivering the most relevant product or service to the customer in the best way, the new MSCM track’s core business competency crosses over disciplines in marketing and supply chain management,” Shenoy said.

Nearly 60 percent of recent MBA graduates have gone into some type of finance position, she said, and our finance professors teach a significant set of electives for the program, so a defined full-time MBA track in finance was a natural fit.

Many recent MBA graduates have gone into positions that crossed supply chain and marketing roles. In discussing a potential new track, employers and faculty alike were excited about the possibility for a hybrid marketing and supply chain management track, Shenoy said.

Graduates of the new MSCM track will have a bevy of career placement opportunities, including roles as marketing analysts, brand managers, retail management, supply chain analysts, purchasing managers and other supply chain-focused careers. The track also has considerable value to a student interested in general management or strategy consulting, Shenoy said, and provides an important skill set for budding entrepreneurs.

“Many new ventures fail from lack of focus on the integrated customer experience,” Shenoy said. “Some of the world’s most successful startups found early success because of their focus on marketing supply chain management, such as Walmart, Zara, Apple and Amazon, and many others have excelled because they have been able to deliver, in a unique way, a product or service consumers want.”

The MSCM track will provide students with a unique, high-level understanding of how the two disciplines work together, said David Byrd-Stadler, director of employer relations. The new track will not only benefit the companies that hire MBA graduates, he said, but will also provide students with diverse career options as they grow professionally.

“We have so many strong consumer brands in this region,” Byrd-Stadler said. “Brands such as Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Garmin, Sprint, Payless ShoeSource, among others, make a natural fit for our students looking for careers in marketing and supply chain after their MBA.”

KU’s revised full-time MBA program follows a fall 2012 review of its Kansas City-based working professional MBA program. For more information, visit

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